Hayfield’s £43,000 boost from lottery

Villagers in Hayfield will have a new community transport system thanks to a £43,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund (BIG).

The funding will be used to buy a minibus and design a website to establish a community transport system to enable people to travel in shared vehicles to reduce travel costs.

The award to the Sustainable Hayfield group is from BIG’s Village SOS scheme, which aims to help rural communities that may be struggling with issues such as isolation and the closure of local amenities, by supporting community enterprises.

Roland Strube, Transport Manager and Project Leader, said: “Village SOS funding of the Hayfield Transport Co-operative will enable people in Hayfield, who have combinable journeys, to form travel groups that are large enough to make a range of shared transport financially viable.

“Rail passengers will be able to use the phone app to arrange shared station taxis and community groups will be able to form travel groups that share access to a minibus with the primary school. In addition, transport sharing commuters will be able to hire their cars to other people in the village.

“Our cooperative will reduce the number of cars and the cost of transport to the whole village.”

The award is one of three announced across the East Midlands.

Mick McGrath, Big Lottery Fund Head of East Midlands region, said: “These fantastic projects show what can be achieved when a community pulls together towards a single goal. With the rural way of life under threat from various factors, Village SOS has provided vital support for all sorts of community-run enterprises.”